To strengthen your muscles, you need to lift, push, or pull weight. Stronger muscles can make it easier to do everyday things like get up from a chair, climb stairs, carry groceries, open jars, participate in sports/recreation, and even play with your grandchildren. Lower-body strength exercises also will improve your balance.
Types of Strength Training
There are a variety of different types of strength training modalities. Here are some of the types of strength training we often incorporate into a rehabilitation program:
- Eccentric Work
Therapeutic versus Strength Training for Muscle Hypertrophy (Growth)
When rehabilitating muscles, tendons, joints, or after surgery, therapeutic exercise is most often the choice. Movements often involving nothing more than the resistance of bodyweight help nerves fire again and recruit muscles, causing them to contract.
Over time, external resistance may be applied to increase muscle fiber recruitment and to generate more force. It’s a question of facilitating healing without overloading recovering body tissue.
This is where physical therapists are clear experts. Providing patients with the appropriate therapeutic exercise prescription is our specialty. It includes:
- the type of exercises to be utilized,
- the frequency (number of times per day),
- the intensity (amount of resistance), and
- the duration (number of repetitions) an exercise is performed.
Carefully monitoring progress during a therapeutic exercise program can optimize the recovery process.
Exercises for Muscle Hypertrophy
Exercises to increase muscle mass, in most cases require the use of heavier loads and extended periods of training (10 weeks or more). For this reason, training exercises that result in muscle hypertrophy are less commonly applied to a rehabilitation program.
Depending upon where you are in the recovery process and your treatment goals will dictate the type of exercise that is recommended.